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CHICAGO — A class action lawsuit is now underway against an Illinois nursing home provider.

It’s been filed by AARP and alleges the company is continually putting residents at risk by purposely understaffing their facilities.

AARP is alleging Alden has long understaffed its facilities in an effort to cut back on costs and boost profits, with residents ultimately paying the price.

Now Alden, which is headquartered in Chicago, operates dozens of facilities but six are named in this lawsuit; three in Chicago, one in Cicero, one in Harvey and one in McHenry County.

There are 11 plaintiffs in the case, referred to as Jane and John Does, nine of them are in Cook County and a couple are in McHenry — with those 11 ranging in age from 26 to 82.

Now, the complaint states understaffing is rife.

For example, it says between 2018 to 2020, Alden Princeton Rehab in Chicago provided residents with only half the necessary CNA hours, and only a quarter of registered nursing hours, required to meet residents’ needs.

The complaint goes on to say the facility owed it’s residents in that one facility 46,000 more hours of nursing care over that three-year period, to meet even the Illinois statutory minimum.

Without enough staff, it’s alleged patients are by default neglected with the lawsuit stating residents have “…fallen down stairs while strapped to a wheelchair, fractured their neck when dropped by one person using a mechanical lift that requires two people, and ingested poisonous chemicals due to lack of care and supervision.”

Alden released the following statement to WGN on Wednesday:

“Alden has always maintained a policy of not discussing the specifics of any pending litigation, so as to preserve the integrity of the litigation process. Alden vigorously denies any and all allegations of wrongdoing set forth by the plaintiffs and their attorneys and is confident the judicial process will vindicate Alden in this action. Alden is committed to providing quality care and the well-being of our residents has been and always will be our top priority.”

Alden has 30 days to respond to the lawsuit once they’ve been served. But the gist of this is AARP and the lawyers behind the suit are hoping to change the long term care landscape as a whole, and so far as they want the court to issue an order so that understaffing can’t happen going forward.